Oil surges relative to expected increase in demand, positive economic data in US and China

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IZMIR from Turkey

Oil prices rose on Friday amid an expected increase in global demand for oil amid gradual vaccine rollouts in the United States, Europe and China, and positive economic data from the United States and China.

International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $ 68.50 a barrel at 6:33 a.m. GMT for a 0.60% increase after closing Thursday at $ 68.09 a barrel.

The US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $ 65.09 per barrel at the same time for a rise of 0.58% after ending the previous session at $ 64.71 per barrel.

Oil prices have been supported by the easing of Covid-19 restrictions in the United States and Europe, as ongoing vaccination campaigns raise hopes of an economic recovery. The coming summer season is also supporting higher prices, as more trips are expected to boost demand for gasoline and jet fuel.

Positive economic data from the world’s largest oil consumers, China and the United States, also pushed prices higher. China’s global exports rose 32.3% from a year ago to $ 263.9 billion, signaling greater economic activity, while the United States posted a new unemployment pandemic, creating a positive sentiment for an economic recovery.

However, the worrying increase in coronavirus cases in Asian countries, particularly India, continues to dampen demand.

India set another world record for daily cases on Friday, registering more than 414,000 infections in the past 24 hours.

It was the second day in a row the country has recorded more than 400,000 cases after reporting 412,262 infections on Thursday.

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